Thursday, November 10, 2005


Thomas' Country Buffet

It should come as no surprise that the county where they filmed In the Heat of the Night and the first couple episodes of The Dukes of Hazard would have several excellent Southern restaurants. Thomas' Country Buffet is one of my favorites for casual dining, a great place to grab an inexpensive lunch or dinner. At $6 (tax included) for an all-you-can-eat buffet, it's almost as cheap as fast food.

The restaurant occupies half of an old railroad depot, not to mention a pair of converted boxcars. It's easy to imagine how it must have looked in the height of the era of steam trains, as passengers stopped for a brief rest on their way from Augusta to Atlanta. And if you are having difficulties imagining it, the artwork on the walls should help. Decorating the walls with paintings of steam trains, vintage railroad posters, and old railroad logos is a fairly obvious choice.

The food is quite good. The menu depends on the day of the week, and to a lesser extent, the time of year. If you stop in, you can pick up a copy showing their rotating menu. There is always a couple of different meat dishes and a wide selection of vegetables. One vegetable that is not to be missed is their fried green tomatoes; I don't know if I have ever been to a restaurant that prepares these better. These are served weekdays (except for Monday, when they are closed) and on some Sundays. According to the menu, they don't normally serve fried green tomatoes on Saturdays.

For some reason, this buffet has changed hands several times in the past few years. Given how crowded it has been recently, I think Thomas (whose name is pronounced with a long "O") is going to be able to hang onto this for as long as he wants.

4122 Emory St.
Covington, GA 30014

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